Leo’s Story

I am running the Oxford half marathon in two weeks’ time for an incredible charity – SSNAP (Support for the sick newborn and their parents) with a couple of my close friends.

In SSNAP’s own words (taken from their website https://www.ssnap.org.uk/) this is what they do:

“SSNAP, located in the John Radcliffe Hospital, is the charity dedicated to supporting the families of sick and premature babies. We provide emotional and practical support to families, we fund innovative and life changing equipment and our research fellowships will ensure lasting change to how babies are cared for and treated in neonatal units here in the UK and around the world.”

The reason we are running for SSNAP is due to the support they provided for two of my best friends (that I helped set up I may add), who had a beautiful baby boy named Leo last year.

Leo was born on 2 November 2018, with hydrops fetalis and a few days later diagnosed with congenital chylothorax and as soon as he was born was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

After a really good first 24 hours, Leo started finding it difficult to breathe as fluid kept accumulating in his chest cavity which was compressing his lungs and they collapsed, which meant Leo was put on a ventilator within the first 36 hours of his life.

SSNAP introduced themselves within 48 hours and were so supportive in such a distressing and emotional time. They provided my friends with so much support, including (but not limited to); providing food when they could see my friends hadn’t eaten in hours, monthly payments to help towards petrol costs, providing accommodation next to the hospital, the use of an app named VCREATE, which is an app nurses use to send videos of your baby when you can’t be there during the night. They also provided someone to talk with, provided hugs when required and also spoilt my friends with gifts for them and Leo at Christmas, which was a particularly difficult time.

The support provided by SSNAP was truly incredible and invaluable. They support so many families going through such a horrendous time.

Leo has been the driving force behind the training we have all put in, and it has really helped focus me, and in turn means I am a lot fitter and healthier too!

We are running on Sunday 13 October, and if you would like to donate to this amazing cause, please find the link to our Just Giving page below:


Any contribution would be greatly appreciated and go some way towards helping other families going through such a difficult time in their lives.

Leo was finally discharged from hospital on 1 February 2019 (91 days / 13 weeks after being born), and I couldn’t be happier to report that he is now a fit and healthy baby, approaching his first birthday.

I’m now off for a weekend of running (and maybe a couple of beers) to help prepare for next weekend.

Danny B

Dan Beecher

Rec2Rec Consultant

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